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Published: Thursday, 2/15/2007

Al-Qaeda leader in Iraq reported wounded, aide killed

ASSOCIATED PRESS

BAGHDAD, Iraq The leader of al-Qaeda in Iraq was wounded and an aide was killed in a clash today with Iraqi forces north of Baghdad, the Interior Ministry spokesman said.

The clash occurred near Balad, a major U.S. base about 50 miles north of the capital, Brig. Gen. Abdul-Karim Khalaf said.

Khalaf said al-Qaeda in Iraq leader Abu Ayyub al-Masri was wounded and his aide, identified as Abu Abdullah al-Majemaai, was killed.

Khalaf declined to say how Iraqi forces knew al-Masri had been injured, and there was no report on the incident from U.S. authorities.

Deputy Interior Minister Maj. Gen. Hussein Ali Kamal said he had no information about such a clash or that al-Masri had been involved.

Al-Masri took over the leadership of al-Qaeda in Iraq after its charismatic leader, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, was killed in a U.S. airstrike last June in Diyala province northeast of Baghdad.

Read more in later editions of The Blade and toledoblade.com



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